Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Opioid Treatment (OTP) 3: Access to Service

The organization minimizes barriers to accessing services.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: OPIOID TREATMENT (OTP)



Individuals who participate in Opioid Treatment Programs improve social, emotional, and vocational functioning, achieve optimal productivity, and attain the recovery they seek.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Access procedures
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review case records


OTP 3.01

The organization provides a welcoming environment that is conducive to rehabilitation, and services are available:
  1. during hours that are based on the needs of the service population; and
  2. 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies.


OTP 3.02

Individuals under 18 years of age are eligible for treatment only if they have experienced two documented, unsuccessful attempts at short-term detoxification or drug-free treatment.
NA The organization does not provide treatment to service recipient under 18 years of age.


OTP 3.03

The organization does not serve individuals receiving services from other OTPs, except in extenuating circumstances, and the case record contains:
  1. results of a review to determine if the person is enrolled in another OTP; and
  2. justification of extenuating circumstances as determined by the medical director or physician, when they exist.


OTP 3.04

At admission, a physician, or another qualified medical practitioner, documents that opioid treatment is medically necessary based on a determination that the individual:
  1. has been dependent on opiates for at least one year before admission, except in extenuating circumstances set forth in federal, state, and local law or regulation; and/or
  2. is physically dependent upon a narcotic drug, using accepted medical criteria, such as those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders.
Examples: Extenuating circumstances may include release from penal institutions, pregnancy, and prior treatment history.


OTP 3.05

A physician assesses each service recipient to ensure that he or she has voluntarily chosen opioid treatment and understands all relevant facts concerning the use of opioid treatment medication.